Rackspace senior management reshuffle continues with new CEO appointment

Rackspace confirms new CEO appointment, six months after being acquired by private equity house Apollo Global

Rackspace will hand over the reins of the company to new CEO Joe Eazor on 12 June, following the departure of his predecessor, Taylor Rhodes, earlier in May.

The managed cloud company has seemingly spent much of 2017 reshuffling its senior management team, beginning with news in early 2017 that Rhodes would be handing over the title of Rackspace president to long-time staffer Jeff Cotten.

In an interview with Computer Weekly back in February 2017, Cotten talked up how the new-look senior management setup would position Rackspace for future growth, with Rhodes responsible for reinvigorating the company’s private cloud business and taking care of its 100 biggest clients.

However, in early May, Rhodes published a blog post, setting out his intention to step down as CEO, with Cotten taking over his job responsibilities on an interim basis.

Eazor’s appointment brings an end to Cotten’s time as interim CEO, with the former tasked with overseeing the company’s global strategy and operations, and has already stated his ambition is to position Rackspace as a world-leader in the multi-cloud era.

Prior to securing the position of Rackspace CEO, Eazor served as the chief executive of cloud networking company EarthLink, where he is credited with helping the company move beyond its roots as a dial-up internet service provider. EarthLink, incidentally, was sold for $1.1bn in February.

“I’m excited by the huge market opportunity that Rackspace has, as companies move out of their corporate data centres and into multiple clouds,” said Eazor.

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“Rackspace is uniquely well positioned to take advantage of this trend, as the only provider who can deliver expertise and exceptional customer service for all of the leading public and private clouds, along with managed hosting.

“Thanks to the strategy Rackspace adopted a few years ago, it’s got the early lead in the managed cloud space. My goal here is to build on that foundation and make us the world’s preeminent IT-services company,” he said.

The change in CEO comes just six months since Rackspace’s acquisition by private equity house, Apollo Global Management in November 2016, which marked the end of the company’s nine-year stint as a publicly traded company.

A good fit

David Sambur, senior partner at Apollo Global Management and Rackspace board chairman, said Eazor’s experience of leading large, complex IT companies and positioning them for growth makes him a good fit for the role.

“Joe has had a long and successful career growing IT services businesses. He has a proven reputation for driving investment and allocation of resources to the areas that will generate the best returns,” said Sambur.

“Joe has led large and complex organisations. He will be a good fit as CEO for Rackspace, a company with a culture that is a unique asset that has produced industry leading Net Promoter Scores and low customer churn.”

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